Top Photos of 2011, The Method

My 10 best photos of 2011 (according to G+). A list for +Jeff Smith and +Levi Moore “Top Photos of 2011” project.

One of the first challenges of a project like this is how to select the photos. I can choose them myself; I could let G+ decide or do both. I’m too vain to not include my own selection but I also think the feedback from G+ is a fair way of selecting the 10 best. So I’ll do both.

working on the G+ list is easy, I just  turn myself into numbers, graphs, reports looking for comments, re-shares and +1. Selecting my own involves a strong emotional aspect that will make it really hard to do. On one side I love all my photos, even if I see plenty of defects on them (I’m a perfectionist that doesn’t know how to stop working on a photo… yet). On another side I know by G+ experience that sometimes what I consider to be a so-so photo turns out to be quite popular in the G+ community. It puzzles me.

But looking at numbers is becoming a bit frustrating. My original plan, to look at my posts and photos one by one, will not work. G+ is not ready for this, it does not give any tool to extract or sort your posts by number of comments, +1 etc. For sure Google will add some kind of functionality in the future but I need something today.

The solution? Just ask G+!

The great community of G+ (thanks +Fedor Pikus) pointed me to +CircleCount (www.circlecount). This tool will extract all your activities and data from your account and present them in a well structured form. You have totals and average values presented in tables and graphs. All very neat and exactly what I needed.

Now I know what to measure and how to do it. So, what are my best 10 photos of 2011?

The answer is, as usual, it depends. You see, getting a single result from data mining is a utopia. All you will get is several results depending on what you look for. But I do not despair as this is a really simple data base and can be analyzed in a few different ways. I have three variables: number of +1, number of comments and number of re-shares.  Each one will result in a different top 10 list. It’s obvious that sorting by comments will just prove that by asking a question you will get more participation. Lesson  #1: always post a question to engage your followers and readers.
The low number of re-shares cannot be used statistically. This leaves me with the list resulting from the amounts of +1. But Circlecount also shows the result by re-shares plus +1 and this makes more sense. You really have to like something to make it +1 and reshare it. And most people will give a +1 when also leaving a comment which will make them count as well.

I finally have the list chosen by popular choice!

My 10 Best Photos of 2011 according to G+ followers
1. Spilling lightsView of Dartmouth, NS, by night. Th…
2. HalloweenIt’s that time of the year, pumpkins,…
3. #SelfySundayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/115961021…
4. Out Of Focus Today I felt out of focus all day lo…
5. AloneFrom Montreal’s global Photo Walk….
6. Miss youFrom +Scott Kelby Global Photo Walk in Mon…
7. Night StarOn my recent visit to Halifax, NS, I onl…
8. CurcunaInspired by Eric Ederer music http://ericed…
9. A Canadian institutionYou know you’re a Canadi…
10. Fade awayFor those who leave us. Your flame might …

Happy 2012!!!

Note: For the final lists (G+ and mine) see this post.

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